Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29..... a cup o' love...

In the spirit of keeping things simple, and appreciating whats good in life...

Honey and I, got off our duffs (gratitude right there) and went to the new Yeh! on Monkland. I am in love! I had a cup of frozen chocolate yogurt - that may well have been the best I ever had. Fat free !!!!! 2 WW points!!!

Sometimes people, you gotta stop and smell the roses .... or eat chocolate frozen yogurt.. either way...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28 ... don't you step on my red suede shoes!

Ok so they aren't suede, and I just realized, it's not even Princess Day, but I found myself two - that's right - two!! - pairs of awesome red shoes!!! I'm so happy!! And one pair has heels!! I haven't had a pair of shoes with heels - and red ones at that - in like, ever!

I realize how trite this must seem, however, a friend of mine once told me, with regard to this blog, to think and write on the things that bring a smile to your face.... well today it's my gorgeous red shoes! I'm still beaming!

May you find shoes that make you feel as happy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27... home...

It's dark, and pouring out. I can hear the water gushing down the gutter out front, and I see the outline of a tree - blowing in the wind. The lighting in the area of the house I'm in is sparse - so there is a nice, soft glow all around. Nothing to bright or crazy. I'm done work, done dinner, feeling content.

I'm grateful for my home. I've said that before - but there are moments like right now where the lighting is just right, and it's nice and warm (we turned the friggen heat on this morning!!!! September 27! What the hell??? But I digress) ... it is in fact nice and dry and toasty warm.

I like feeling content.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26 .... reflections

I have been in a strange little space lately. Reflecting on life and all... appreciating how more and more it's about connecting, relationships, reaching out .... really appreciating that.

Last night we went to a 50th birthday party - that's the third 50 I'm celebrating this year!! That's what being a part of a demographic group is like I guess. It has given me the chance to look around - survey as it were the consequences, good or bad, of the choices I have made in my life. Going forward, there are other 50 birthdays coming up - my own included. Seems to me you have no choice but to reflect. Last night I wrote in my friend's card, "from high school to 50 in the blink of an eye" - and despite all the living that has been done in the interval, it really does feel that way. And sadly, I don't see any signs of "time flying by" slowing down. Know what I mean?

I don't want this blog to seem the least bit morose. Truth be told - some of that looking around and surveying, has me feeling pretty grateful as a matter of fact. Plenty grateful. Sometimes my life reads like a Carol Shields novel - and I'm ok with that. I'm very much ok with where I am at. I am ok with how I have weathered the storms, I'm ok with who I am. That's a lot to say don't you think? That't a lot to be grateful for. It's a good life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22 .... Princess Day...

Indeed today was Princess Day. Nothing like spending three hours (holy cow) at the salon on Princess Day. And while I am the first person to say - three hours are you nuts - at least it's on Princess Day, and I don't sit there in the chair with ants in my pants thinking of all the things I could be doing instead of taking some much needed aesthetic care of myself. Know what I mean? And to top it off - I look fabulous. Thank you new Stephanie.

Then I came home and shortly thereafter, Honey and I subjected ourselves to our weekly session of torture - which is turning out to be really good for us. Kind of validates my profession if you ask me, and, it totally humbles me and makes me far more compassionate and empathic towards my clients. I have such respect for what they choose to go through because it is hard, hard work. All that to say - it works, and I'm glad and grateful for that. It's a lot easier to deal with the stuff of a 21 year relationship from a perspective that is not from "the edge of doom". Instead it's from a safe place, a connected place, a place where "we" live, not just "me" lives.

And finally, to top Princess Day off - we went out for our favourite Indian Food - comfort it you ask me.

All good - much to be grateful for.. time to snuggle.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21... Technology...

Sometimes, technology can get the better of me. I can literally sit and geek for hours. I suppose my laptop is "the new TV" - not that I ever devoted this much time to TV.

However there are upsides to this technology stuff. I skyped with young daughter and amazing Levi today. That kid is growing like a weed!!! He is huge! And even better, he is responding!! Which thrills me to no end. It sucks being 4000 or so miles away from your kid and grandson, it really does, in a profound kind of way - but sometimes, and I'm sure it won't be all the time, something like Skype serves as a decent salve to the ache in my heart.

I also do a lot of texting with middle daughter. Some how, through the scraps of tiny messages I send her way, she feel lifted up, supported, connected to something sane and comfortable. I'm happy for these relationships. I feel like I'm doing my "mother" job - better.

I'm grateful for my connecting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20 .... all good things..

I have been at a loss for what to write about. This strikes me as silly (crazy, moronic.. whatever) because things have been going really well! All my relationships are intact and flourishing even, work is good, Honey and I keep working at it and its good, things are good.

Seems more of a struggle - wrong word - to find gratitude when things are rolling along smoothly - than when there is drama and suffering going on. Its like this. I'm sitting here .. feeling good - which probably translates to grateful some how but that would spoil what I'm going to say - content, happy with my life .. and in looking for something to be grateful for I'm waiting for "that feeling". "That feeling" like when I'm writing and I'm in the midst of shit and misery and drama - then I look for something to "feel" grateful for and when I ping upon it it's like a salve .. ahh.. yessss.... gratitude. So you recognize it. That sensation stands in sharp relief to the downness of the drama at hand. Not so much when you're happy.... :) Am I discovering something here?

So let me rephrase... not only am I happy at the moment, but really, I'm pretty grateful to be that way. I am grateful that things are feeling good between Honey and myself, between my kids and myself. I'm grateful that we are having a spectacular fall, the weather has been sublime.

There is much to be grateful for on this happy, gentle day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September 18... Lazy Saturday...

It seems to me like it's been a long time since we were home and chilling on a Saturday morning. I don't know why that is. Regardless, it's nice taking the time to read the morning paper, as brought to me section by section by Honey himself, have a nice coffee.. and stay snuggled up with a blankie on the couch.

I'm sure at some point I will get "productive" but for now, this is really, very nice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15 .... grateful

I'm whooped. Honey and I are going through a process. In the end it will be great. We will find each other, know each other, love each other - and really, I've grateful for that. You don't invest 21 years of your life somewhere and then blow it off right? Right!

So I'm grateful for perseverance, grateful for strength, grateful for commitment, patience and caring. I'm grateful for the courage this journey requires, grateful for healing .... Grateful.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14 ... community and commitment

Three years ago in May, I had begun, at long last, a journey to lose weight. I'm a lover of bread, cheese, and nuts - all really healthy, all really fattening - in the quantities I was eating them in! That's the biggest, most important thing I learned with Weight Watchers, to watch what I eat. I also learned that I don't have to eat until I can't move, that pain does not equal "sated", that more is not better. I did the online version. I liked it and it worked. Some 20 - 25 pounds lighter - I felt I had reached my goal. I was able to stay that way for the better part of two and a half years.

Well I'm here to tell you pound-creep has set it!! I'm back on the plan and glad of it. It requires a commitment to yourself to maintain a weight once you've achieved it. Sometimes you, I, forget that. So here is to re-committing.  WW offers a community of people all striving for the same thing - to be wise about our choices. The people on the "Boards" are friendly and supportive - and until I rejoined yesterday I had forgotten how lovely it was to have all the "cheering on" coming my way.

I'm grateful for the community, grateful for the support, grateful for my commitment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13 ... uber connecting...

So as I begin to write my blog, at this late (ish) hour -  I have Honey sitting beside me kindly nudging me to come to bed. That's nice. He's nudging too because for most of the night I have been "talking" to people. Middle daughter has a free texting plan, as do I, so we "talk" a lot more now. She is going through tough times as a matter of fact, and I'm really happy to be able to be a source of support for her.

Oldest Niece is back in college. Her boyfriend has a BlackBerry and she too can now chat with me for free - for long :-). She had a stressful first day back, needs some support too because of her fear of failure, her and I are good friends. It's all good.

Young daughter got home the other day from her two and a half week trip to see all sides of her family - and is now able to call. She did and I listened to little Levi singing away in the tub. He's outgrown his first wardrobe, he sounds happy so does my daughter.

In all that Honey got a little lost.

We women really are relational aren't we. I see how much it means to me, I see how important each and every one of these connections are, they fill me up, they make me happy.

Up to bed I go - to connect of course ;).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12... In the woods...

Had an awesome weekend in the country. Yesterday was a work day - there was a  lot of land our friend had cleared. He rented a chipper and we chipped all the trees he felled. It was vigorous work. I loved it. It made me totally homesick for my Winnetou Lake. I used to work hard up there, clearing brush, picking up fallen trees, making bonfires. I loved it. I remember once, my dad and Honey, standing on the balcony, watching me; my dad turned to Honey and said "She's a real country woman that one, a real woodsman." Indeed daddy, indeed - you taught that to me, or the geography taught that to me: a respect for the land, an appreciation of the changing seasons, the smell of trees and earth. We may have lost our beloved cottage - but I am so grateful for my relationship with nature. When I get the opportunity to "work the land" as it were, I feel settled, centered, strong, at home, really at home.

Thanks so much J & Y.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10... summertime

I'm feeling grateful for the summer we had. Yesterday was our first official "cold" day. Hardly cold really - but a real switch from the hot, muggy temperatures we've been having. And again, after the last two summers - which were dreary at best, this year was amazing. We're spending time with friends on the weekend, on a lake, last of that for the year I'm sure. Our time is moving from kayaking, to pickling; from cycling to harvesting; from lazing on the deck, to chopping wood. My garden, which wasn't really a resounding success this year, is also winding down. We had one Spaghetti Squash - one! That's all the squirrels let me have. I'm grateful for that! It was awesome growing such a big vegetable! The weekends going forward will all involve some form of battening down the hatches for the winter - ugh. I shouldn't say that - my favourite season is fall.  I love the crisp air, wearing sweaters, the smell of falling leaves. I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let's enjoy what we can of what is left of our summer.

Given that, I would be ok with a killing frost - someone, get rid of the Ragweed!!

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8 ... honouring your inner control freak...

To all my Jewish friends and family - Happy New Year.

9 years ago when Honey and I moved into this house, we accepted and assumed the responsibility of hosting two dinners a year for his family, Passover and Rosh Hashana. This has meant having a sit down dinner for as many as 21 and as little as 10 people. Either way ...  it's a cooking day for me. In the end we've done more - hosting summer parties, anniversary and birthday parties. I kind of love doing this. Today, even though lovely young cousin is coming to help, I have done the lion's share of preparing and cooking. I recognized that I "needed" it to be that way. I feel comfortable now - at three in the afternoon, knowing what lies ahead of me. I like knowing what's left. I like taking charge and having it my way. I like that the napkins are just so, or the honey pot is in the middle of the table, not at the side. I like that the knife blades are turned inward not out... what can I say, I'm honouring my inner control freak.

It works!

And to those family members that are far and wide away..... we will miss you tonight. I hope your year going forward is filled with health and love.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7 ... all good things...

So in the on going saga of little Archie - the pup that was supposed to change my life (I know, I know) ... I am ever so happy to report that a wonderful home, complete with dog buddy, has been found for my dear Archie. He lives next to a lake, with kind and loving people, who are home most of the time. They have other dogs these people and so are versed in the life and needs of a puppy.

No one will be able to convince me that I haven't failed miserably at this ...  and that's fine. I am eternally grateful that a place like Rosie's Animal Adoption exists, that people like Kathy, who has devoted her life to helping animals exist, and that choices I make do not end in total disaster.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6 .. Hindsight better than no sight?

I've been reflecting a lot on the family reunion we had.

Sometimes I wish I could offer something that isn't mine to offer. I want to offer a place where children can come and play, where parents wouldn't have to worry about letting their kids roam around the house, where even, let's say, a puppy could frolic. I want to offer a big, happy family, a parade of my own, fun. But that's not what I have here. That's not what my life is about here at this time. There are no children in my life on a regular basis. Sometimes I feel like I should apologize for that, but that doesn't seem to make any sense. Am I projecting my own insecurities onto others and receiving that as disappointment? Actually, I don't know.

Sometimes, I receive messages from others that we're too stiff, too set in our ways, we don't engage, we show are discomfort to easily, we don't have a thick skin... like that. I actually really appreciate the feedback - it is helping myself and Honey grow into better stronger people.

Sometimes I wonder, if we don't talk about family dynamics and history, in a bid to understand them, aren't we just doomed to re-enact the same old script all the time? In reflecting about the family reunion I realize that right from the beginning everyone got into familiar roles and defensive positions. I heard someone say "Are you worried about how this will go", "If s/he starts up I'm outta here!", "S/he better not ...." - and so on.  I felt I was treading stormy water.

I would like to resolve that next time - seeing how this time was in fact successful as no one acted out on the above - that we trust and have faith and believe we can have the loving, connected and authentic family we all long for.

I know for a fact that I bring the best of myself to whatever I can. I do not seek out to make things unpleasant for anyone, ever. I love my family. Deeply, honestly. I am ever grateful for what my children teach me. From now on I resolve to be very clearly present in the relationship and share this love joyfully.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5.... reconnection...

Been a long, long time since I felt the way I did today: connected, loving, loved, wanted, wanting.. responsive, responded to... creative even.. two days in a row... in love, loved .... what a beautiful day.

Wish my kids were around to share in the nice of things - not just the sad and difficult of things.

I am very, very grateful for today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1... the things you learn...

Well a week has come and gone, and so has the family. Young daughter and precious, precious Levi left today. Huge pile of tears. Middle daughter and beautiful Jakob left on Sunday, huge tears there too. My son and soon to be daughter in law! joined us for Brunch on Sunday. First time we were all together like that in a long, long time.

Through out their respective stays, Honey and I received feedback about our "unbendableness", that we appear to have trouble tolerating change in our environment, that it shows on our face too much that we are uncomfortable. I blame Honey more than myself. Except that I wore my unhappiness about other things more openly that I should have.

This visit was all about bad timing. I'm not too shy to share that Honey and I had our first Couple session, only it was four hours after young daughter and Levi arrived. The repercussions of that session lasted a few days, they weren't good. I have come to wonder how my daughter must see me as the last few times we have been together have been tough times in my life. It appears I can't live in the moment all that well.... I need to work on that.

Another mistake of mine on this visit .. I had the puppy arrive with middle daughter and Jakob. So not only did I have my kids and their kids, but a puppy - that we have now discovered Honey and I are ill-equipped to deal with. You have no idea how sad I am at that horrible realization. We can not "tolerate" the growing pains of a puppy, we don't want our "stuff" damaged, don't want to "invest" the energy and time, there is a deficit in ability to discipline, we don't know how to "play", ... it doesn't make me feel good about myself to say any of this. On the other hand - we are among the best adult dog owners I know. All that to tell you, Archie is leaving us too. Kathy from Rosie Adoption is picking him up (Please support Rosie Adoption - they do such important work). I can't tell you how supportive she has been. Telling me there is no place for shame in all this, that she can see I am in fact thinking of Archie when I say - we would make terrible puppy parents. My daughter chastised me, told me Honey and I are so set in our ways we can't even get off our duffs more or less, to raise a puppy. I maintain that Archie deserves an awful lot better than the lonely life Honey and I might provide him. Lesson learned people: never get a puppy to save your marriage.

On the way to the train station I had my last lovely moments with young daughter. She reported on how she had a great week, was very pleased with how she had split her time up between me and other family members, was glad about how smooth everything went. I felt really grateful about that. After dropping them off I came home and cried my heart out. I stumble along, trying to do my best, to bring joy, to experience joy, to bring the best of myself to what ever I do and whom ever I do it with... and somehow, a lot of the time, I feel like I missed the boat.

But this blog is about gratitude. I would like to share that there is nothing quite like the overwhelming love you feel when you are with your grandkids. They are beautiful little people and they look at you in a way that inspires confidence, you see how safe they feel with you, they see clearly the love you have for them. That, in spite of the crazy bad decisions I made, made it a blessed and wonderful visit.